Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’

Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum'

Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’

Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’ is one of those fabulous ‘must have’ plants! Although related to common garden thistles, this is not a self-seeding weed, but a tall, strong stemmed herbaceous perennial, which just gets better year on year! The flower stems multiply quickly, and rise from large basal rosettes in spring! The foliage is a little prickly, unlike the flowers which are soft, and can become a bit tatty – but this is easily remedied, and cutting the foliage back whilst doing a bit of deadheading to spent flowers, will keep the plant looking good and help to produce more and more flowers throughout the season!

IMG_0457 Cirsium Rov. Atrop

Although it is now October, this Cirsium (in a pot) has decided to flower – luckily for me, as I didn’t take any pictures of my large specimens in the garden! Another little job for next year then! Bees, butterflies and hoverflies adore this plant as much as I do!

Rivulare means ‘growing by a stream’ so a little clue as to the type of soil it prefers – moist and rich, and full sun if you have it! Will also grow in part shade, if that is all you can offer! Although it can grow to 4 or 5′ tall, it doesn’t necessarily have to go to the back of a border as you can see through it! You can position beside or in front of a tall shrub or tree with dark foliage, (to good effect) e.g. Physocarpus op. ‘Lady in Red’ or Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’which shows of the magenta-red blooms nicely, and underplant with later flowering Asters, or whatever takes your fancy – just grow one – you’ll love it!


Cirsium foliage – large and prickly!

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